There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
As we face uncertainty due to COVID, business leaders need not wait for “normal” to return, they need to take action now. “Normal” is not returning! Remember this is not an economic crisis as much as a public health crisis. Until we fix the latter, the former cannot recover. Given our failure at dealing with the latter, I think that we are going to be living in this uncertain state for the next 12 to 18 months. Thus by the time we emerge, behaviors adopted during this time will have become the norm.
While many companies have received PPP loans or are feeling comfortable with current orders, as economist Tom Cunningham pointed out so pointedly on a call on Friday, most of the government support is in the form of bridge loans; the problem is we don’t know how long the bridge needs to be. If we are going to be in this limbo for 12 to 18 months, the loans are not long enough, and many will not survive. Bankruptcies have already wreaked havoc on the economy and are not slowing down. State and local governments, which account for 60% of government-generated GDP, are in a terrible state and will be shedding workers and cutting services as they struggle to survive. The ripple effects will continue. Be prepared.
As I and many have pointed out, COVID is an accelerant. We are now five to ten years ahead in our industries, so are you positioned for such a place? Darwinism is not survival of the fittest, but those ablest to adapt to the new environment. Start adapting. Expand your market and potential client-based. Review processes to see if they can be more efficient.
Not only should you review your business, but also your personal life. COVID is not the flu, it is horrible, and those that survive will in many cases, not have an easy time going forward. Thus, look at your relationships with your parents, spouse, significant other, children, close friends. Are they where you would want them in five to ten years, and if not, make them so. The window to do so may not be as open as you think.
I recently facilitated a workshop with several CEOs where we worked on the dramatic business growth model components. One of the questions that I had asked them beforehand was, "What is Your Profit/X?" The results showed that there this concept is not clear to many....
There is a war for talent. How do you attract talent to your company and have them apply for jobs there? You have to show why they should consider you, who you want, what you offer, and how your current employees feel.
Productivity remained during WFH with COVID. However, further analysis found that hourly productivity fell and was compensated for by employees working more hours. What was the culprit – Meetings. Want to increase productivity, have fewer meetings.
For those of you who are not aware of EOS, it is the Entrepreneurial Operating System. It seeks to improve businesses by getting six components aligned to enhance business operations. The six are: the vision the people the issues traction - meetings and goals...
COVID has affected everyone. However, companies need to examine if they have lived their core values during COVID, how they are reinforcing them in a WFH environment, and especially with the onboarding of new hires.
Knowing how much cash you generate is essential for planning for growth. Too many companies don’t know and when they grow they find they are continually running out of cash. Understand your cash flow generation and how to improve it through improvements in your Cash Conversion Cycle and using the Power of One.
The key to achieving long term goals is to define short term goals that lead you there. Focusing those short term goals around a key metric is essential. However, ensure that the metric will not lead other areas astray by having an appropriate counter critical metric act as a counter balance.
Defining an organization’s culture as a “Family” culture reflects tolerance to subpar performance. Rather focus on those characteristics of a “family” culture that you want.
Knowing the profit of your core customers is key to building a growth model. Many companies have identified core customers that are generating a sub-optimal profit and so they cannot realize the profits they seek. Identifying the correct core customer allows you to generate profits and often operate in “Blue Ocean.”
The European Super League collapsed within days of launch due to hubris and the founder forgetting the key parts of their business model, value creation, sales, and value delivery. The collapse might bring a high price.